Total Foodie // Comfort Traveller // City Lover
It is difficult to put Imzo into a box(!), but to give it a shot… he is an energetic creative with a sound business head on his shoulders. He is partly a day trader, trading whenever he can but by broad strokes his job is effectively ‘dealing with commodities’. Beyond that he travels regularly as a photographer. Writing in his free time, taking life as it comes.
When we spoke with Imzo he perfectly summed it up by saying:
To define myself would be to say that I am always down to figure out deals across industries, the art of business is something I enjoy greatly but I love meeting and talking to new people. I enjoy seeing where life goes and as Steve Jobs once said, “You can never connect the dots until you look back at them"... which to me is the beauty of life.
He went on to say "I will say that I’ve never taken travel with the ‘same eye’ as I do now which has led me down a better path in not just the way I meet people but ultimately in what I gain from my travels both within myself and in life."
Here is his take on some top travel tips and ideas:
WHERE TO GO
New York, USA
An utterly captivating city, filled with history on almost every corner and variety of things to do in New York. The city is special just on the basis of... ‘you can truly be anyone you want in New York’. You get back what you put in and when it comes to traveling and adventuring around New York, there are hidden bars and spots that only the locals know about that otherwise, if you’re just visiting you might miss. You can’t go wrong with New York. Yes it has the tourist side but there’s a far greater depth to the city.
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A tiny island, which has gone from being something so simple in its earlier days to this crazy financial beast in south east Asia. With all that said, the beauty and special thing about Singapore is its' heritage that it still holds onto and celebrates. From the food in the Hawkers Stalls to the opulence of the night life. The size of the city means you can truly take in quite a lot in a short time. The thing that still amazes me is the amount of greenery the city maintains. It’s one of the guiding principles in Singapore, to push the greenery throughout the city. You really are in the true sense of a “concrete jungle” where concrete really meets the jungle in some cases.
Here is a good guide on the Hawker Stalls:
This is such an interesting city. Interesting in part because the movie ‘Hangover’ has painted an international picture of Bangkok, which draws many tourists and obviously plays a key aspect to the city; but for me, I find the people and the food to be the truly special elements of experiencing this city.
When you take a step away from the Go-Go Bars and the throbbing nightlife streets, there’s a lot the city has to offer. From the varied and vibrant street food markets to the specific stalls street side that are famous amongst the locals. You will find such friendly locals in the more hidden bars and restaurants. So friendly and hospitable that you forget you’re a traveller and feel like you’re at home… as if you’ve finally found your place, right there with a stranger.
All these cities are grand but their heritage and their food as well as the variety make them worth hanging around for more than just 24 hours if you’re travelling through on business.
WHERE TO EAT / DRINK
Gaggan Anand, Bangkok
Gaggan Anand’s restaurant is spread across two floors; Chef’s Table at the bottom and regular dining on the 2nd floor. It's dinner and a show when you do the Chef's table but equally as vibrant when you do the regular dining. More so the food was unbelievable. It’s not something I’d say is regular fine dining, it’s an experience and that’s what you’re paying for. This was ranked Asia’s best restraint from 2015 – 2018. Simply named 'Gaggan Anand' in Bangkok is taking bookings either in Arena G, "a familiar and more traditional restaurant space with tables surrounding the open kitchen". Or in what they have called ‘G's Spot’ which they've described as “If food is an act of love, and eating is sensual, then you can unlock the keys to mind-shattering foodgasm…!”
La Esquina New York
This little restaurant / bar has such an interesting vibe. Getting to it is half the fun!! Winding through the place until you enter this room with such energy and a vibe that brings you a lot of joy just arriving there. The selection of Agave based liquor is one reason people are there, the other is the awesome food and feel good music. You really can’t go wrong heading to this spot. It’s all about feeling good. Leave your sorrows at the door, you won’t be picking them up on the way out either, you’ll be smiling all the way home.
They also have a corner deli which serves equally incredible food with a quirky vibe.
Koh Grill & Sushi Bar, Singapore
This spot has been and will always be my ‘go to’ for specifically 1 dish whenever I’m in Singapore. That dish is the Koh Maki Original. It’s a Maki I’ve had since I’ve grown up in Singapore and this place first started in Wisma Atria (a mall on Orchard Road) Food Republic. It’s usually full and the service has always been amazing. I’ve always been known for walking in and ordering an obscene amount of this 1 Maki. That’s how much I love it. The rest of the dishes are equally as amazing and the pace of food is pretty good. The vibe is that of which you’d expect in any food court but certainly a spot I’d enjoy venturing with friends and digging in.
Tropic City, Bangkok
Tropic City is perhaps one of the main places I’ve met many people that have gone on to become great friends. It’s interesting because everyone I have met and spoken to in this establishment all have such varied backgrounds, all with different ways they heard about this special place. I feel like you can’t go wrong with service here too.
Jungle Bird, Kuala Lumpur
The team at Jungle Bird never disappoint. Always beyond friendly and I genuinely go to just sit and have a chat with them. What’s crazy for me is the regulars I’ve met there have become friends of mine too and we just always randomly bump into each other. It’s one of those spots you just never know who’s going to walk through the door or what sort of night it’s going to be!
Mad Ronin Bali & 40 Thieves, Bali
Mad Ronin is my favourite Ramen spot in the whole of Indonesia. I know... wild to look for ramen in Indonesia(!) but it’s really a meal that hits the spot, served in and amongst a buzzing and vibrant atmosphere (as you can see below) with really cool and unique artwork. However, take it a step further and hidden just above Mad Ronin is another incredible places called 40 Thieves. You wouldn’t even know it’s there unless you had heard about it. Even more exciting is they have different themed nights throughout the week. The jazz / live music night is something I’ve really enjoyed whenever I venture to the island.
BEST TRAVEL / ‘TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN’ MOMENT
This is difficult for me to say as I’ve had a few! From the moment I was on stage in front of 3,000+ people in Atlanta dancing to Soca music on Memorial Day weekend to watching the sun set with a cliff side view in Bali. There’s been so many incredible moments including a ‘literal top of the mountain’ when climbing Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia. But I will say that nothing really ever beats watching the sun set on the beach in Fiji. As simplistic as that is, it’s probably one of those experiences where you can sit down and really think ‘wow’ and nothing else.
I used to put in little GPS pods into my bags when I travel just because I have paranoia about the airlines losing my bags. The beauty of those were that it would always text me / email me whenever I landed and turned phone back on that the bags were in ‘X’ city; which thankfully has never been a city different to me! Sadly the company I had dealt with is now no more but I’m going to start digging into the newer options.
(When APPollo is launched check Imzo’s profile for the link to the best company.)
If you’re ever curious on where to fly to but haven’t got a decision yet, you can go to google.com/flights and punch in everything EXCEPT the destination. Google will spit out a bunch of choices on the map with pricing and you can kind of go from there with what to do on your travel site of choice.
ALWAYS MAKE THE MOST OF THE MILES YOU FLY!... Your mileage is there to get rewards from. Always get the air miles and use rewards programs. Whether it be with booking.com or the airline. Whatever it is. You just never know how often you book with a certain site or whatever, make sure you put your money to work in that sense. It’s certainly helped me better figure out deals.
FIRST TRIP AFTER LOCKDOWN
This is another difficult one. Difficult because there’s so many options… but I will say though most likely it’ll be either to Australia or Fiji. As much as that would be “sit there and do nothing” and some would argue that’s basically what we are doing already in some ways, it’s a different kind of “sit there and do nothing”.
APPollo will be providing curated travel tips, guides and bitesize bespoke recommendations for you. Along with a handful of incredibly useful and beneficial tools to help you travel better and experience much more while away.
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